I remember cuddling on cold winter nights beneath Mom's scrap quilts and spending time picking out the fabrics so familiar since Mom made most of our clothing. Scraps from her summer dresses, my 4-H projects, my school dress, blouse, grandma's dresses, they were all in that quilt. She filled in with scraps she inherited from her mother and she would tell me the stories behind those. It seemed like I never slept alone when I slept beneath all of those memories.
I see that some quilters have turned scrap quilts into memory quilts and have a busy business. They use photos, documents, favorite poems, and most of all fabric from the clothes of the one to be remembered. I can see how that would make a unique and valuable heirloom.
A special group has been formed to make quilts to memorialize our men and women killed in action in Iraq. Of course there are also the 9-11 Memorial quilts, the huge AIDs quilt and the list goes on and on.
Most of these are made using traditional patterns, patchwork, nine patch, or crazy quilt patterns for their basis. A few quilt artists have made memorial quilts that build upon symbolism and special memories which translate into beautiful and bittersweet pieces of art. Here's one example.
Other memory quilts may depict a vacation, a moment in time and are often landscape or based upon photos.
A look at the photo of Texture of Memory posted on Etsy, memory quilts take on many faces.